Magnetic particle inspection, sometimes called MT, MPI, or mag particle, is a nondestructive test method used to check for surface and sub-surface discontinuities and defects. The process puts a magnetic field into the part and the piece is magnetized by direct or indirect magnetization. 

Because this method relies on a magnetic field to produce results, it works best on ferrous materials, like nickel, iron, cobalt, and some alloys. Components like billets, bars, castings, forgings, fasteners, weldments and extrusions are also commonly tested using magnetic particle inspection.

Wet vs. dry inspection methods

Magnetic particle inspection can be performed using a wet or dry method, depending on the application. In both methods, the product is electrically charged to create a magnetic field. Then, Ferrous iron particles are applied to the part in a dry or in a wet suspension. If there is a crack or other defect present, the particles will be attracted to the defect. The particles will build up around the leakage and form an "indication." The indication is evaluated to determine its characteristics, its cause, and how to proceed. This allows Element’s technicians to understand the type and severity of any discontinuities on the part.

Element's ASNT-certified non destructive testing experts

Element non destructive testing inspectors are certified to American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) Level III and Level II. By examining the nature, location, and extent of an indication, our highly trained and experienced inspectors can determine the origin and cause of both surface and near-surface discontinuities. Element operates full-service non destructive testing and magnetic particle inspection labs that utilize a variety of advanced equipment capable of performing quality inspections for virtually any form of ferrous material, component, or assembly.

magnetic particle inspection

Standards We Test To

American Metal Society

AMS 2300, AMS2301, AMS 2303, AMS 2442, AMS 2640

American Petroleum Institute

API 1104

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASME Section V, ASME Section VIII, ANSI/ASME B31.3

American Society for Non-Destructive Testing

NDT 2, NDT 3

ASTM International

ASTM A275, ASTM E45 (Method A), ASTM E709, ASTM E1444

American Welding Society

AWS D1.1

Deutsches Institut fur Normung E.V.

DIN EN 10228-1,, DIN EN 1369, DIN EN ISO 10893-5, DIN EN ISO 17638, DIN EN ISO 9934-1, EN 1369, EN ISO 9934-1

Military Specification

MIL-I-6868, MIL-STD-1907, MIL-STD-1949, MIL-STD-271, MIL-STD-68E

National Aerospace Standard


Society of Automotive Engineers

SAE J420

Various Customer Approvals

Boeing, Bombardier, Douglas, Eaton, GE, Hamilton Sunstrand, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, Sikorsky

Magnetic Particle Inspection

Element's Magnetic Particle Equipment

Our magnetic particle inspection laboratories across the US and Europe feature a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment, including Magnaflux stationary machines with 100-inch beds which can accommodate parts up to 12,000 pounds.

Magnetic particle inspection can be performed by Element non destructive testing technicians in the NDT laboratory or in the field. A partial list of our equipment includes:

  • Magnaflux MD3-1060L 5600 Amps:

    A multi-directional stationary mag machine that features a 100-inch bed. This state-of-the-art equipment facilitates high-quality inspections in half the time of a conventional mag unit and reduces handling requirements, thereby decreasing lead times and increasing productivity.

  • Magnaflux 5600 Amps with 1,000 Pound Hoist 

    Also featuring an 100-inch bed and multi-directional testing capabilities, this unit accommodates exceptionally heavy test specimens. In addition, both mag machines are forklift accessible, facilitating testing of parts up to 12,000 pounds.

  • Hand-held Yokes, Prods, and Cables 
    These portable devices accommodate onsite inspections of larger components.

Element supports today’s precision aerospace, military, nuclear, and commercial industries with Magnetic Particle Inspections and other non destructive testing (NDT) services.

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Comprehensive Non Destructive Testing Services

Element offers a complete range of NDT capabilities along with unparalleled expertise and worldwide capacity. Element’s NDT services can be provided both in the laboratory and at virtually any customer site across the US, UK, and Europe.

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